Banned pesticides have been found in Lipton as well as domestic tea brands in China.
In response to the recent announcement by Greenpeace that banned pesticides have been found in Lipton as well as domestic tea brands in China, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health have come out to say that residues of illegal pesticides found on the tea was due to wind blowing it over from other crops.
Lu Feiran of Shanghai Daily writes:
The ministries said on Saturday the residue was not due to farmers spraying pesticide on the tea. Instead, said Dong Hongyan, an official with the agriculture ministry, long-term use of the pesticide on other crops may leave residue in the water and soil. Even though methomyl is banned on tea trees, it can still be used on other agricultural products.
“If the tea trees are planted next to some other crops, the pesticide traveling through wind or the flow of air current is inevitable,” said Dong.
The explanation met with consumer disbelief on Weibo, the country’s leading microblog, with some saying they don’t believe a word of it. Consumers questioned how much pesticide would have to be used on other crops for the methomyl residue to show up on tea.